A Nepali sherpa has scaled Mount Everest for a record 26th time, breaking his own previous record set last year, a government official says.
Kami Rita Sherpa, 52, scaled the 8,849-metre mountain on Saturday along the traditional south-east ridge route leading 10 other Sherpa climbers.
“Kami Rita has broken his own record and established a new world record in climbing,” Taranath Adhikari, director general of the Department of Tourism in the capital of Kathmandu, said on Sunday.
Kami Rita’s wife, who gave her name as Jangmu, said she was happy at her husband’s achievement.
The climbing route used by Kami Rita was pioneered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepali sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 and remains the most popular.
This year Nepal has issued 316 permits to climb Everest in the peak season, which runs through May, compared with 408 last year, the highest ever.
On Sunday Nepali officials said Russian climber Pavel Kostrikin died at Camp I of Mount Everest, the first reported death of a foreigner this climbing season.
“The Russian climber fell sick at Camp II and died after being brought to the Camp I,” Bhishma Kumar Bhattarai, an official of Nepal’s Department of Tourism, said.
Camp II on the normal southeast ridge route on Everest is located at a height of around 6,400 metres (20,997 feet).
Hiking officials said the body of Kostrikin would be brought to Kathmandu when the current cloudy weather conditions improve.
The Himalayan nation, which is heavily reliant on climbers for foreign exchange, faced criticism for allowing overcrowding and several climber deaths on the mountains in 2019.
Everest has been climbed 10,657 times since it was first scaled in 1953 from Nepali and Tibetan sides. Many have climbed multiple times, and 311 people have died so far, according to the Himalayan database.